October 30, 2019

Read time: 5min

Speed to insights in the automotive industry

Market Logic Team

Market Logic was happy to host an expert webinar on “Fast insights for the automotive industry” with Delia Dumitrescu, Lead Innovation Architect at TrendWatching, where we were joined by insights teams from BMW, Deutsche Bahn, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai, Mahindra and TomTom. TrendWatching is a Market Logic content partner that publishes trend analyses on many of our client platforms. Their unique approach determines what customers want next – not by asking consumers themselves, but by looking at innovations. In this way, Delia explained that “trends emerge when innovators in any industry address people’s basic human needs and wants in a novel way that shapes expectations”. Delia shared the latest insights from her ‘2020 Trends Report,’ including shifts and innovations around the world that are shifting the needle in automotive. For example, she pointed out that for the first time, “purpose” has made it onto the agendas of the world’s largest corporations, where brands collaborate to tackle challenges and then give away their solutions. Two cases in point: Starbucks and MacDonald’s are collaborating to find sustainable solutions to the throwaway cup, to set a sustainable standard across industries. AT&T has overlaid their infrastructure map with climate disaster map to project where disasters will affect cities in the next thirty years sharing the results widely so all players can collaborate to deal with the next catastrophe.

Open source trends in automotive

In automotive, Delia spoke to a “proud tradition of open-sourcing and sharing. As far back as 1959, Volvo shared their patented three-point seatbelt solution with other automotive manufacturers, saving a million lives or more”. Current initiatives include Toyota’s decision to share hybrid patents with other manufacturers, and a data-sharing project being launched by BMW, Volvo, Ford and others to share sensory data that enhances real-time road safety. Indeed in September 2019, IBM reported that 70% of auto executives rate “collaborating with other industries” as one of their top growth opportunities.

Sentient spaces

The trend toward sentient spaces is also of immediate interest in automotive, as data-driven personalization is everywhere. For example, SK-II, the Singaporean smart store, scans customers’ faces as they enter the shop. Using AI, customers get recommendations for the best products for their skin type. In automotive, safety is the number one priority in sentient spaces. Volvo is working on installing in-vehicle sensors to detect whether drivers are distracted or intoxicated and automatically pull them over. Nissan is commercializing autonomous driving software: available in Japan, the car offers a “no-hands driving experience.” You set the route before entering the car, and it takes you to your destination without ever having to touch the wheel.

Drivers’ expectations: from safety and convenience to well-being

The Swedish company “Clear Channel” uses an algorithm to scan commuters’ social media posts and the news to determine their daily state of mind every morning. It then replaces typical billboard advertisements with art displays to address that collective state of mind – meditative abstract images to combat stress or joyful images to lift the mood. Kia Motors announced “emotive driving” technology that takes biodata (e.g. heartbeat and facial recognition), to enable the car’s interior to respond to you as an individual by adjusting the music or lights in the car. Delia reminded the audience that while the use of personal data is problematic across the media and research industry particularly, Accenture research last year found that “83% of consumers are happy to share data in return for personalization if brands are transparent about how the data is used”.

Speed to insights when there’s too much data

Many automotive professionals struggle to stay abreast of all the disruption in the automotive industry today, from new competitors, car-sharing and electrification, to in-vehicle sensors and autonomous driving. Now consider the impact of extending the context of research and data to more sources, think social media and industry news, and coverage across adjacent industries and innovations. Sabine Hunsicker from Market Logic argued that there’s simply too much data for a human to synthesize. AI is essential to bring all the data together and cut through the noise to find relevant insights. Sabine presented two applications to push and pull information. In pull applications like search, AI algorithms can summarize the content inside the results. She explained that while most search engines deliver a list of hits to documents, Market Logic’s search understands the content, visualizes key topics and extracts findings, so there’s no need to open and read hundreds of pages. For push applications, AI helps insights managers create and push relevant content to stakeholders, with expert channels and curated knowledge zones. Here, AI topic filters cancel irrelevant content, so the expert can simply select and comment on relevant items, pushing these to the home pages of relevant target groups. Sabine also pointed out that insights managers no longer have the time to manually upload content to their portals. To automate these processes, AI algorithms are trained to scan and auto-tag incoming documents with relevant tags and summaries, instantly feeding them into the body of knowledge. For more information about Market Logic’s AI capabilities, see Market Logic FORRESTER blog post.